How To Get The Respect Radio Deserves


(By Jeff McHugh) To be a successful media star, you must capture the public’s attention. Ninty-three percent of Americans may use radio daily, but our product receives little media coverage compared to television, motion pictures, music, or books.

But last week, the spotlight was on Elvis Duran, with wedding (congratulations, Elvis!), Forbes highlighting Angela Yee of The Breakfast Club, and Big Boy chilling with the ladies of CBS TV’s The Talk.

With one photo People exposed Elvis to 46.6 million print readers, 12 million visitors at, and 7.1 million Facebook followers.

Nothing radio does captures attention like charismatic, authentic personalities. People has never covered a text-to-win promotion. Forbes has never featured “the best music to get you through your workday.” A “commercial free music sweep” will not be interviewed on daytime talk TV.

Our industry should double down on developing memorable personalities. Nothing else that we do matters as much.

What does this mean for your station? Perhaps you cannot get your star players in People, but consider how you might refocus the spotlight on your biggest strength.

•  Promo check: the number of spots airing for your best show each day should be equal to or more than promos running for everything else.

•  Reserve talk segments for entertainment. Do not allow dictates for promotion and Web traffic hype to pre-empt the show. Create a separate segment for that, perhaps out of commercials.

•  As fall budget season approaches, consider diverting money from less effective promotions and events into support for your best show.

•  Consider hiring PR experts  who can get your stars featured in local TV, print, and podcast media.

Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.


  1. All of this is based on the necessary assumption that a given SIQ (Station In Question) actually has some programming – and commercial content – that is worthy of promotion. Drat!


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